SeaPlan Archives

From 2006-2016, SeaPlan (originally Massachusetts Ocean Partnership) worked at the forefront of ocean planning in the United States, helping establish and advance best practices in the emergent field. Through partnerships with government, marine industry, NGO, and research sectors, SeaPlan was instrumental in numerous ocean planning achievements.

This archive is a compilation of select products from SeaPlan's decade of collaborations, including technical reports, papers, data sets, etc. The portfolio is organized into four categories - Massachusetts Ocean Plan Support, Cross Cutting, Northeast Regional Ocean Plan Support, and Mid-Atlantic Ocean Action Plan Support. Items are arranged chronologically within each category; users can view or download products, as needed. We hope practitioners and stakeholders find this a helpful resource as the practice of ocean planning continues to evolve.

Massachusetts Ocean Plan Support

  • Convening of the Massachusetts Ocean Partnership Fund

    This report outlines the operating protocols for MA Ocean Partnership's 2006-2007 strategic planning process and includes a summary of the original stakeholder assessment interviews.

    Year completed: 2006

  • Ecosystem-Based Coastal and Ocean Management in Massachusetts: Science Gap Analysis

    This gap analysis inventories relevant research in MA (as of 2007) and identifies scientific data needs to inform development of a comprehensive ocean plan for MA waters.

    Year completed: 2007

  • Five Year Strategic Plan to Advance Integrated Multi-use Ocean Management for Massachusetts' Coastal Ocean Waters

    This document summarizes the assessment that culminated in the formal launch of the MA Ocean Partnership and outlines the organziation's approach for supporting the development and implementation of the first generation MA Ocean Plan.

    Year completed: 2007

  • Stakeholder Participation in Massachusetts Ocean Management Planning: Observations on the Plan Development Stage

    This report summarizes the state's stakeholder outreach program associated with development of the 2009 MA Ocean Plan, identifies key themes that emerged from that engagement and offers observations about the effectiveness of the various outreach vehicles.

    Year completed: 2009

  • Ocean Management and Integrated Resource Management Programs from Around the World

    This report assesses relevant comprehensive resource management approaches from elsewhere and summarizes key components of their management frameworks to identify options suitable for the MA Ocean Planning framework.

    Year completed: 2009

  • Planning Framework Options for the Massachusetts Ocean Plan

    This report draws from research compiled in the preceding Ocean Management and Integrated Resource Management Programs from Around the World to propose nine key elements for consideration in the MA Ocean Plan framework and implementation.

    Year completed: 2009

  • Science Tools for Implementing Ecosystem-Based Management in Massachusetts

    This report considers the main elements of an ecosystem-based management approach to MA state ocean planning and offers a framework of science and decision tools to suport effective plan development and implementation.

    Year completed: 2009

  • Characterization of Community‐Specific Spatial and Socio‐Economic Linkages to Massachusetts Waters

    This report examines the extent to which available information supports characterization of community-specific ecosystem service values for MA's ocean waters, and suggests methods for addressing key data gaps.

    Year completed: 2009

  • Developing a Framework for Compensatory Mitigation Associated with Ocean Use Impacts on Commercial Fisheries

    This report reviews approaches for compensatory mitigation of economic impacts on commercial fisheries, and proposes alternatives.

    Year completed: 2009

  • An Integrated Statewide Ocean Data Network: Providing Data Analysis Necessary for Integrated Multi-Use Ocean Management in Massachusetts

    This report reviews several ocean data network initiatives, including the MA Ocean Resource Information System (MORIS), to support development of an ocean data network for comprehensive ocean management in MA.

    Year completed: 2009

  • Compatibility Considerations for Siting Coastal and Ocean Uses

    This report provides information to inform use-resource compatibility determinations for certain coastal and ocean uses.

    Year completed: 2009

  • Massachusetts Ocean Partnership Partners' Event

    This meeting summary documents presentations and discussions on vetting and revising the Draft MA Ocean Plan.

    Year completed: 2009

  • Ecological Valuation Index Report

    This document summarizes the results of a convening to review the existing Ecological Valuation Index (EVI) decision support tool methodology and develop recommendations for increasing the tool's utility to the MA Ocean Plan.

    Year completed: 2009

  • Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan Indicators

    This report documents the approach used by the state, MA Ocean Partnership and expert advisors to identify a set of environmental, socio-economic, and governance performance indicators recommended for incorporation in the 2009 MA Ocean Plan.

    Year completed: 2010

  • 2010 Massachusetts Recreational Boater Survey

    This study collected and analyzed spatial and economic data on marine recreational boating in MA coastal and ocean waters during the 2010 boating season. Study products include a full technical report, a brief project summary, and data products.

    Year completed: 2011

  • Mapping Cumulative Impacts of Human Activities on Marine Ecosystems

    This report documents application of NCEAS' cumulative impacts methodology for MA ocean waters that generated maps and an ecosystem vulnerability matrix using expert surveys and spatial information on marine ecosystems and various stressors. Study products include a technical report and a brief project summary with key results.

    Year completed: 2012

  • Perceptions of Massachusetts Ocean Plan Performance

    This report describes the methodology and findings of interviews with members of the MA Ocean Advisory Commission (OAC) and Ocean Science Advisory Council (SAC) to assess their perspectives on the performance of the 2009 MA Ocean Plan.

    Year completed: 2013

  • Using Ocean Planning for Submarine Cable Permitting in Massachusetts

    This article is a case study of the first project to be permitted in state waters after the 2009 MA Ocean Plan took effect--a submarine cable project--with insights from permitting authorities and the project proponent.

    Year completed: 2014


  • Economic Analysis for Ecosystem-Based Management: Applications to Marine and Coastal Environments

    This book describes ways in which economic analysis can be an important tool to inform and improve ecosystem-based management.

    Year completed: 2010

  • Indicators of Ecosystem Health

    This meeting summary documents the outcomes of a Northeast region-wide conference, which resulted in a community of practice among indicator programs in the region.

    Year completed: 2011

  • Ecosystem Service Tradeoffs

    This project used two ecosystem service model approaches, Efficiency Frontiers (see project summary) and MIMES/MIDAS (see reports), to conduct a pilot study demonstrating how these models might be used in comprehensive ocean management. SeaPlan and COMPASS hosted a panel discussion on the pilot study in Boston in 2012 (see presentation).

    Year completed: 2012

  • Options for Cooperation between Commercial Fishing and Offshore Wind Energy Industries

    This report compiles best practices for collaboration and addressing use conflicts between the commercial fishing and offshore wind energy industries. The presentation was given at a convening of the MA Fisheries Work Group on Offshore Renewable Energy.

    Year completed: 2015

  • Climate Change Adaptation Indicators Framework for the City of Boston

    This report outlines a framework for establishing climate change adaptation indicator metrics to support Boston’s efforts to evaluate and track the City's progress implementing preparedness and resilience measures.

    Year completed: 2015

  • FVCOM Case Studies and Google Earth Application

    This product provides a visual, georeferenced tour of successful applications of the complex Finite Volume Community Ocean Model (FVCOM) to help solve real problems using oceanographic modeling, e.g. dispersal of nuclear material from the Fukushima power plan.

    Year completed: 2016

  • Marine Ecosystems Services Valuation Inventory

    This resource compiles several examples of tools and software used for valuing marine ecosystems services.

    Year completed: 2016

  • CMSP Best Practices: Human Use Characterization and Industry Engagement

    This paper describes best practices in the ocean use characterization and industry engagement aspects of CMSP based on SeaPlan's 10 years of experience in Massachusetts, the Northeast, and the Mid-Atlantic.

    Year completed: 2016

  • CMSP Best Practices: Data Portals and Marine Spatial Planning

    Drawing from experience with the Northeast Ocean Data Portal, this paper discusses the importance of data portals to support MSP, inventories relevant existing portals, and describes key considerations for developing and managing an effective ocean data portal.

    Year completed: 2016

  • CMSP Best Practices: Performance Monitoring & Evaluation

    This discussion paper acknowledges barriers to effective integration of performance monitoring and evaluation in marine spatial planning and explores strategies for advancing its practical application.

    Year completed: 2016

  • Addressing Interactions between Commercial Fisheries and Offshore Wind Development: The Block Island Wind Farm

    This report summarizes the fisheries outreach and mitigation program employed by offshore wind energy developer Deepwater Wind, LLC, in the development of the Block Island Wind Farm.

    Year completed: 2016

  • Stranded capital: environmental stewardship is part of the economy, too

    This paper examined the economic benefits of ocean conservation efforts to the Massachusetts economy.

    Year completed: 2018

Northeast Regional Plan Support

  • 2012 Northeast Recreational Boater Survey

    This study collected and analyzed spatial and economic data on marine recreational boating in the Northeast for the 2012 boating season. Study products include a full technical report, brief summaries of regional and state-specific findings, a summary of industry engagement efforts, and data products.

    Year completed: 2013

  • Northeast Regional Ocean Plan: Options for Effective Decision Making

    This report analyzes options for improving agency decision making under existing authorities to support development of the Northeast Regional Ocean Plan.

    Year completed: 2014

  • Marine Habitat Classification in the Northeast

    This paper advances the understanding of ocean seabed habitats and identifies a common regional habitat classification scheme in the Northeast US.

    Year completed: 2015

  • Characterization of Coastal and Marine Recreational Activity in the U.S. Northeast

    This report describes the results of an effort to characterize coastal and marine recreational activity in the Northeast. Spatial data products are housed on the Northeast Ocean Data Portal.

    Year completed: 2015

  • Northeast Ocean Data Portal

    This online portal is an information resource and decision support tool for ocean planning from the Gulf of Maine to Long Island Sound, providing maps, data, tools, and information needed for regional ocean planning. SeaPlan was a founding member of the data portal working group.

    Year completed: 2016

  • Northeast Party and Charter Fishing Pilot Mapping Program

    These reports summarize a collaborative pilot study to characterize recreational party and charter fishing activity. Utilizing tablet-based electronic reporting, the study supports both regional ocean planning and fisheries management.

    Year completed: 2016

Mid-Atlantic Ocean Action Plan Support

  • Synthesizing Human Use Data in the Mid-Atlantic

    This report compiles and synthesizes spatial data about human uses, including shipping, fishing, and recreation, to support regional ocean planning in the Mid-Atlantic. Data sets on the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal allow users to view, interact with, and download data.

    Year completed: 2016